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04 - Perth Girls School - External Front

Perth Girls' School - External Front


A big shoutout to the awesome team at Australian Development Capital, especially Cassandra, for granting me the opportunity in November of last year to photograph the Perth Girls' School.

The Perth Girls' School is NOT abandoned, nor an URBEX site!!

Built in 1936, the Perth Girls' School, set on the corner of Wellington and Plain Streets, is the second highest point in the city after Mt Eliza in Kings Park, (2).


Before moving to this location, the Perth Girls' School was located at:

  • 1847 - Perth Girls' Colonial School - Perth Court House on William Street

  • N/A - A house on Hay Street

  • 1854 - A new building on Pier Street

  • N/A - Perth Cultural Centre

  • 1896 - Moved into a new “Government School” which is now the Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts

  • 1936 - Moved into the Perth Girls' School building

The Inter-War Stripped Classical design of the day sure stands out amongst today’s somewhat bland box apartment style and limited artistic expressional developments.

With that said, extremes in the temperament of some architects tends to attract strong opposing attitudes and judgments with their designs at times, so I simply shan’t dig myself a hole.

05 - Perth Girls School - Second Floor

Second Floor

The 1920s saw an education system plagued with problems, which on close examination with today’s system, particularly in more rural areas, makes it feels like nothing much has changed.

Classrooms were overpopulated, sharing limited resources and equipment and schools couldn’t be renovated or maintained regularly enough. (Sound familiar?)

For the city experiencing the same problems, it was enough to decide the construction of a new girls' school was warranted and would sufficiently ease overcrowding.

Despite the plans for the E-shaped girls’ school being finalised in 1934 by government architect A.E. Clare (2), it would be two years before construction began, due to the effects of the depression.

The school mainly emphasised domestic science (1) and offered classes up to a junior certificate. This meant that by the age of 15, girls were sent out into the world to make something of themselves (3) and hopefully something bigger than a domestic engineer.

04 - Perth Girls School - Center Staircase

Center Staircase

Police Traffic Branch

When the school closed in 1962 due to declining enrolments, the Western Australia Police Traffic Department acquired the site a year later.

Liaising with the Heritage Council of Western Australia to ensure all works are approved according to the heritage stipulations, the owners of the Perth Girls School have completed a range of restoration work.

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